Students today face an unprecedented pace of change – from new technology to a transformed workplace to daunting challenges in the US and globally. How do we “future-proof” our kids and our economy, and create the resilience needed to meet these challenges?

Invention Education.

Invention Education represents a new education paradigm. It encourages problem identification, experimentation, collaboration, critical thinking, and hands-on engagement to inspire and equip students to solve real-world challenges, and prepare them for an ever-changing future.


In today’s rapidly changing world, inventive thinking and inventing new solutions are economic and social imperatives. The education community, policy makers, and corporate leaders all cite the need to increase the innovation and innovator capacity through our education system.

Invention education supports the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which focus on the practical application of STEM and their connection to engineering principles for K-12 students.

Invention education increases the value of STEM curriculum as students are able to combine entrepreneurial and design thinking with science, technology, engineering and math skill and apply that knowledge to developing solutions to problems that they find meaningful.


Invention Education is relevant both in- and out-of-school because it cultivates the skill sets and mindsets that are critical for helping students navigate an evolving economy and career landscape.

Through Invention Education, students:

  • Cultivate the empathy and discernment to identify and solve real-world problems in their communities and beyond.
  • Discover practical applications of their STEM and design knowledge – an approach with demonstrated success in inspiring and engaging more girls and students from under-represented communities to pursue STEM careers.
  • Learn the importance of persistence to succeed and a willingness to fail – creating innovative solutions, and radically rethinking them if they don’t work.
  • Strengthen creativity, problem-solving skills and confidence – whether they become inventors or not.
  • Learn entrepreneurship skills to take their ideas out of the lab and into the market, where they can create businesses that impact our economy and society.

Watch an example of Invention Education in Practice:

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam from Natick High School

Hear firsthand from teachers about the benefits of
Invention Education:


You can find more resources on Invention Education from our partner organizations below:


Released at InventEd 2019, Researching Invention Education, extends the work published in the April 2019 issue of Technology and Innovation Journal focused on the structure, execution and results of local and national invention education programs from primary school through higher education.  Researching Invention Education consolidates the current knowledge base that informs the current work by researchers, educators, funders, non-profit organizations and government agencies working to advance the field of Invention Education.


The Lemelson Foundation is part of a growing community that supports the promise of Invention Education, including our partner organizations at the Lemelson-MIT Program, the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, The Henry Ford STEMIE Coalition, the Society for Science & The Public, Maker Ed, and many others.

Sign up to receive additional information from The Lemelson Foundation and partners on the future of Invention Education, and to learn how to join our effort.

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